Georgia minister agrees to cooperate with Senator's information request.Another mega-ministry preacher has agreed to cooperate with a U.S. senator's request for information about finances.
Bishop Eddie Long of New Birth Missionary Baptist Church The New Birth Missionary Baptist Church, known familiarly as New Birth, is located in Lithonia, Georgia, United States, and led by Bishop Eddie Long. New Birth is a church in the USA with a membership in excess of 25,000 members. in Lithonia, Ga., has indicated that lie will send financial information to Sen. Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa), the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.
Grassley announced in November that he has requested detailed financial information from six high-profile ministries that espouse the "prosperity gospel." Grassley said he was responding to complaints from whistleblowers that the ministries may be violating the laws governing nonprofits by using tax-deductible donations to enrich the ministers and members of their families.
Joyce Meyer of Joyce Meyer Ministries in Fenton, Mo., provided the material by the original deadline, but the other five ministries either asked for more time or pledged defiance. Grassley extended the deadline until April 1, and now some ministries are starting to come around.
Recently, TV evangelist evangelist (ĭvăn`jəlĭst) [Gr.,=Gospel], title given to saints Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. The four evangelists are often symbolized respectively by a man, a lion, an ox, and an eagle, on the basis of Rev. 4.6–10. Benny Hinn Tofik Benedictus "Benny" Hinn (born December 3, 1952) is a televangelist, best known for his regular "Miracle Crusades" – revival meeting/faith healing summits that are usually held in large stadiums in major cities. announced that he will comply. Paula and Randy White's Without Walls International Church asked for more time and later said information was on the way.
Two others, Creflo Dollar Creflo Augustus Dollar, Jr. (born on January 15, 1962, College Park, Georgia), is a televangelist, Word of Faith teacher, pastor, and the founder of the non-denominational Christian World Changers Ministries based in College Park, Georgia, which is the parent organization for World Ministries and Kenneth Copeland Kenneth Copeland (born December 6, 1936 in Lubbock, Texas) is a prominent Word of Faith television evangelist and the founder of a Christian religious organization Kenneth Copeland Ministries. Ministries, have vowed not to cooperate. Copeland has been attacking Grassley and the probe directly, telling his supporters the investigation is an assault on religious freedom. His ministry did send 291 pages of documents, but Grassley has said the material is "incomplete."
Dollar has sent nothing, and he has hired as his legal counsel Marcus Owens, a former top official at the Internal Revenue Service. In a letter to the Finance Committee, Owens charged that Grassley's inquiry is driven by "distaste for, or disagreement with, these churches' theology and religious practices." Grassley is being cagey ca·gey also ca·gy
adj. ca·gi·er, ca·gi·est
1. Wary; careful: a cagey avoidance of a definite answer.
2. Crafty; shrewd: a cagey lawyer. about what steps he might take next. "Sen. Grassley is just taking it one step at a time," Jill Gerber, an aide to the senator, told The Christian Post. "We've received a lot of cooperation so far. If he had decided to pursue subpoenas earlier, he might not be getting the voluntary cooperation he is getting now. Patience is something he's willing to exercise."
The Christian Post also reported that the second round of letters to ministries that extended the deadline until April 1 was signed by U.S. Sen. Max Baucus Max Sieben Baucus (born December 11 1941) is the senior United States Senator from Montana and is a member of the Democratic Party. Baucus is currently chairman of the United States Senate Committee on Finance and 10th Longest-serving current Senator. (D-Mont.), who heads the Senate Finance Committee. Baucus' involvement, the paper said, sends the message "that this was not a one-man or one-party operation."
Baptist Press Baptist Press (BP) is the official news service of the American Southern Baptist Convention based at the headquarters of the Southern Baptist Convention in Nashville, Tennessee. reported that the National Religious Broadcasters has expressed concern about the probe, even though none of the six ministries is a member of the group.
The Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability The Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA) is an accreditation agency that claims to promote fiscal integrity and sound financial practices among member organizations. has taken a different view. "Financial transparency is the cornerstone of financial integrity for nonprofits," President Ken Behr said in a statement.